1) Derived from various Asian terms meaning "tea", Chai is the name applied to a popular hot beverage served throughout many parts of the world, but particulary Asia. Unlike black or green tea with a lighter colored appearance, Chai may have an opaque tan color due to the milk often added as a creamer to suit that tastes of the consumer. Using a strong black tea as a base ingredient, many spices are added to give the tea a somewhat spicy and complex flavor. Spices such as cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin seed, curry leaves, ginger, lemon grass, peppercorn, and rampe leaves may be blended with the black tea to add the flavors so mildly prevalent in Chai. In addition, other ingredients that are preferred by tea drinkers in different regions may also be added such as nutmeg, cocoa, vanilla and various sweeteners. In India where Chai is as common as coffee in other countries, the term used for the name of the beverage is "marsala chai" or spiced tea. Chai is also referred to as spiced milk tea.

In addition to the Chai made from tea leaves and spices, other forms include dry powders with dry milk or a mixture of ingredients that are combined with fresh milk. In either form, the ingredients in the powders are dissolved in water or milk to produce a soothing drink, hot or cold that is similar to a latte. Some of the commercial Chai powders often include a blend of black tea, a sweetener such as honey or sugar, various spices and either dry milk included in the dry mixture or fresh milk added to the ingredients served by commercial vendors.

2) Chai may be used as a French term to describe an above ground wine storage facility.


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